Ervin Lázár is the creator of a genre we may safely call
Central European folk surrealism, which takes on the quality of a
hallucinatory exploration into that part of the soul where beauty, hope,
and yearning live in close proximity with the harsh realities of life.
A stark depiction of life in a Hungarian village under communism as seen from the perspective of a young child, Ferenc Barnás’ novel The Ninth recounts the events of roughly a year in the life of a young boy and his family’s struggle to subsist by circumventing and exploiting the peculiarities of the socialist system as best they are able.
László Krasznahorkai is not a fashionable writer. He is marching directly against what the age is about: that literature should become part of the entertainment industry. He is failing to adapt smoothly to what is going on. This art is powerfully pitched against the intention to skim through life laughing or just sticking it out as best you can without taking any particular risk.
Perhaps in a language as enchantingly beautiful—fully admitting to an
extreme bias in this case—as Hungarian, it should come as no surprise
that poets are forever compiling lists of the ten most beautiful words.